When you think of the word “gamer,” the first thing that comes to mind isn’t “puritan who is offended by bare female skin.” But that’s exactly who the “gamers” are on NeoGAF, the world’s largest and most influential gaming forum.
Living on a drip-feed of Feminist Frequency videos, some of its users participated in a new thread called “Worst Female Character Design in Gaming.” Quiet, the scantily dressed sniper character from Metal Gear Solid 5 was at the top of the list and suggested by the thread’s creator.
Others complained about Ivy from the Soul Calibur series; Fiore Brunelli from Star Ocean V for her sexy harlequin costume; and “the Xenoblade 2 girl” whose name they can’t remember was also brought up.
The women who wear “sexy armor” in the Fire Emblem games were also deemed “awful.”
NieR Automata‘s 2B was also cited as an offensive character because her tiny skirt often exposed her legs and groin. Oh
One user mentioned Prince of Persia: Warrior Within’s Shadee, whose ass is exposed. “I mean, yikes…” he wrote. I doubt he has the same reaction when he logs onto his Pornhub account.
Some were unimpressed by Lara Croft’s everyday, real-world hiker look in the new Tomb Raider games. But they probably wouldn’t be complaining about it if Anita didn’t already raise a stink about the tightness of her pants.
The large breasts of one of the main characters in Valkyria Revolution were also cited as a problem.
Another raised complaints about a Hyrule Warriors character because her design appeared to be guilty of “cultural appropriation” as she had tribal tattoos. Sheva’s tribal outfit in Resident Evil 5? Also problematic, because the game’s “imagery featuring a white man gunning down Africans” is “racist” because it’s set in Africa.
Bayonetta, a character that was lauded as empowering by many female gamers, including progressive games journalist Leigh Alexander at the time of the game’s original release, is also cited as a bad design.
It many ways it can be quite surprising to see a group of obviously male gamers all feigning offense to the various sexy female character designs in video games because they think it’s how they’re supposed to react because of feminism—especially when female gamers fully embrace the aesthetic, sometimes even by cosplaying those characters in real life.